…black (and white) is beautiful…


One of the choices I have to make as a photographer who wishes to share experiences through the lens is the decision on how the image should be displayed to get  the biggest impact on the viewer. The majority of the time I leave the image alone – it helps to make the right choices in settings in the camera so that further adjustments in post processing is minimal – I am a photographer, not a photo editor.

However, there are instances when a little more than a simple “touch up” is required because a particular effect that I would like to illustrate wasn’t achieved in the camera. One of these instances revolves around the decision to choose between black & white and color. Black & white is most striking in portraits or a landscape where there is a lot of contrast between shadows and highlights, or the dark and whites, and usually works best with my images that are including clouds in the sky. But sometimes, the colors are just so striking that – with a little adjustment in the tonal contrast – the finished product is a rainbow display of vibrant colors. NOTE: Always shoot in color. You can convert your image to black & white from color but this doesn’t work in reverse…

So I’m going to try a little test with audience participation. I have 2 sets of images that were converted to black and white – which one do you think works for each?  The first is a shot of three young men on a tricycle we passed on the road as we were heading up into the mountains shown in the distance:

The second is an image captured while stopped at a roadside wet market, where fresh fish, fruits and vegetables were sold to passing travelers and locals. While my companions were haggling over the price of the fish they were purchasing, I spotted this little scene going on away from the negotiations:

Tough choices…I won’t tell until later which ones I preferred. I’ll post the results of this little poll in a few weeks.

Thanks for participating!

Until next time.